Chapter 160 – Toxic Beast
Translated by: Ying
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Though they had mentioned they would leave when the skies brightened the next day, the sky did not brighten.
Nine Devil Mountain’s reputation with terrible weather was not mere talk. When Long Chen estimated the time and headed out of his room, he found that the skies outside were completely black. Though it wasn’t to the point that it was pitch-dark, it was almost to that extent.
Dark clouds loomed over the area, and they were all situated very low and halfway up the Nine Devil Mountain. There, lightning flashed continuously.
Occasionally, these gloomy sounds of thunder could be heard, and the piercing nature of it had chills running down everyone’s spines.
This was the darkest daytime Long Chen had ever experienced.
“It’s already morning, but it’s still so dark. Seems like the weather today will change.”
When Gu Batian arrived, he frowned.
That night, Long Chen had been together with Gu Batian and the others, and thus met with the two young talents. Both were at the initial mastery stage at the Earth Dan Realm, and one was Gu Cheng, Gu Batian’s blood grandson, who had directly obtained the qualifications to take part in the selection. The other paled slightly in comparison, and was called Liu Gui.
“If any of the three of you really meet with danger, remember to take care of each other. Such weather today means there’s a higher level of difficulty for Divergent Road, in comparison to a day with clear skies.”
Before leaving, Gu Batian reminded.
“Grandpa, we know. If Brother Long Chen meets with danger, we’ll help him.”
Here, Long Chen was the youngest, and Gu Batian was clearly trying to get the two of them to look after Long Chen. They naturally agreed.
“Then I shall thank all of you ahead of time.”
Knowing of their good intentions, Long Chen immediately thanked them.
After all, they were all strangers coming together by chance, and yet, Gu Batian had kept taking care of Long Chen. He was immensely grateful.
Though it was because Gu Batian and Chu Tianxiong were at odds that he had a favourable impression of Long Chen, this was still help, and Long Chen appreciated it.
Behind him were Liu Yuan and Liu Lan.
They did not know what to say in response to his actions. After all, there was no point crying over spoilt milk. Long Chen had already started a feud with Chu Tianxiong, and if Long Chen could not pass the inner faction selection, he was done for once he returned to the Green Faction.
Thankfully, Gu Batian seemed to think well of Long Chen. With his help, Long Chen probably had a way out of this predicament.
Liu Lan was as radiant as always and a wonderful sight in the darkness. With the inner faction selection right ahead of him, Long Chen recalled what Liu Lan had agreed to before and admired her, heart stirring restlessly.
“What are you looking at?”
Liu Lan could feel the tips of her ears go warm from the heated gaze Long Chen had on her.
“I’m just wondering if you’re prepared. Let me think… it’s regarding what will happen tomorrow night…?”
Others naturally had no idea of what Long Chen was talking about. Liu Yuan himself was puzzled.
Within the Lingxi Sword, Lingxi had no idea what Long Chen kept bringing up, but with experts around him, she did not dare ask.
He was already at death’s door, and yet still did not realise it. Instead, he was thinking of all sorts of strange things. Liu Lan was humiliated, but at the same time, disappointed.
“Impulsive, no regard for the results, reckless… When did Long Chen end up like this…”
Thinking of his future, Liu Lan could not help but begin to worry on his behalf.
The inner faction selection would affect Long Chen the most. His success or failure was his own matter and had nothing to do with Liu Lan.
After teasing Liu Lan, Long Chen followed the rest and began the journey.
In the discussion hall, Long Chen and the other nineteen participants met up. Under Dongfang Xuanxiao’s lead, they came under the Nine Devil Mountain.
The rest seemed to have followed the Heaven Dan Realm grand elders who were at the final mastery stage and gone through the Divergent Road, and arrived at the Nest of Life and Death. The Lingwu Family had set up a base there already.
Though Chu Tianxiong was around, there was Gu Batian around to take care of Liu Yuan and Liu Lan, and Long Chen was therefore at ease. At the base of the Nine Devil Mountain, with the dim line of sight, he raised his head and looked at the peak of the precipitous mountain that reached the heavens.
“This is the Mountain of Life and Death?”
Long Chen was full of reverence. Currently, the mountain had been cut into two parts by the clouds.
The peak above the clouds could not be seen at all. Below the clouds, there were dark forests everywhere, fog twining around the woods. Long Chen could not see anything clearly. On the Mountain of Life and Death, there seemed to be large beasts hidden in sight everywhere, frightening mouths wide open in wait for them.
“Once we’re on the Divergent Road, there’s a fine line between life and death. Young people, begin your journey.”
After reaching the base of the mountain, Dongfang Xuanxiao did not utter more nonsense and announced the official start of the first stage of the inner faction selection, the Nest of Life and Death.
With Dongfang Xuanxiao’s arrangements, teams began to head in varying directions, entering the Devil Mountain of Life and Death from different angles. This was to prevent them from meeting too early and killing each other.
Long Chen and Yin Mengyao were placed at the very end. As soon as he arranged for the teenagers from the Red Faction to go up the mountain, they were quickly brought to another area.
“From here, go 500m straight ahead. What happens next is in your control.”
Listening to his directions, Long Chen and Yin Mengyao shared a gaze and stepped forth on the dark Devil Mountain of Life and Death.
“Those kids from the Red Faction seem to have their eyes on you.”
Just as Long Chen and Yin Mengyao were hurrying forward, Dongfang Xuanxiao’s voice resounded in their ears. Everything was still around them though.
“The Red Faction?” Yin Mengyao’s expression was indifferent. “They’re not hard to deal with.”
What Long Chen found strange was that Dongfang Xuanxiao seemed to be taking care of them.
They had now gone a distance into the Devil Mountain of Life and Death. There were dark flourishing foliage around them, the branches and leaves weaving in and out. They were extremely thick, and Long Chen had even seen a leaf that was akin to a little boat.
“The trees in the mountain should be ‘devil trees’. Their bark is extremely firm, and the sturdiness is comparable to steel.”
Long Chen was astonished by these thick devil trees.
They were everywhere, and tree roots were crisscrossing on the ground. It was difficult to find a large area with just soil to stand on.
The devil trees were a specialty of the devil mountain, but Long Chen knew that there was something else that was especially terrifying here— toxic beasts.
“Toxic beasts are a mutated version of demonic beasts. They’re under the category of demonic beasts, but in comparison to them, the toxic beasts are even more terrifying, because they release toxins. If unlucky, even an expert at the perfect mastery stage at the Heaven Dan Realm could be poisoned to death in an instant!”
The night before, Liu Yuan and the others had passed on this information to Long Chen.
Long Chen knew that the reason why the test of the Divergent Road was so terrifying was because of the toxic beasts. Now, they were still at the base, and there were naturally few of them. However, once they really got onto the Mountain of Life and Death, it would probably be filled with toxic beasts and bugs. That would be a terrifying sight!
“When faced with the attack of toxic beasts, I still have to prevent people from stealing my jade bracelet. The difficulty of this is like heading to my death…”
It was extremely humid in the mountain, and there was water on the leaves and grass. Soon enough, Long Chen was full of grime.
However, because Yin Mengyao was female, she deliberately tried to maintain cleanliness and looked better.
Ever since they had entered the Divergent Road, Yin Mengyao stayed ahead of Long Chen. She wore tight clothing that was suitable for battle, and showed off her alluring lines.
“Long Chen, do you remember what I told you before?”
At this moment, Yin Mengyao, who was walking ahead, spoke while hurrying on.
“Yes. If there are any opponents, I’ll try my best to hide and not try too hard.” Long Chen spoke without strength. She did not have any ill intentions, and couldn’t be bothered to bicker over it.
“Of course, that’s only if I can save my own life. It’s best not to stray too far from me.”
Long Chen seemed to know himself well. After Yin Mengyao mentioned this once, she did not say more.
The higher up they got, the more humid it became. The sounds of thunder could be heard closing in, and the surroundings were pitch-black. Only when there were flashes of lightning could he see the distressing scene ahead.
“The toxic beasts should be about to appear.”
Noticing some traces left behind by toxic bugs or wild animals on the tree bark and leaves, Long Chen was more vigilant.
“Toxic bugs and beasts are all a type of demonic beast, but they’re even more difficult to handle than beasts of the same level. Once poisoned, it’s difficult to survive this Divergent Road.”
“Long Chen, there’s someone heading in your direction.” After entering the Devil Mountain of Life and Death, Lingxi had also become more attentive. With her immense spirit sensing abilities, Long Chen’s was slightly safer.
“Hey, stop. Someone’s heading over.” Long Chen halted his footsteps, glaring at the direction Lingxi had pointed out.
Yin Mengyao froze. She had not found anything strange in that direction, but Long Chen had found out someone was incoming? Just when she was about to ask, she suddenly frowned and, with a quick movement, stood in front of Long Chen.
She had heard the sounds of leaves crinkling, as well as the sound from stepping on tree bark.
Not long after, two teenagers appeared in the darkness. Once closer, they could see their opponents.
“Looks like they only know which direction we came from and guessed their way here.”
Long Chen knew who these two were. They were the two talented cultivators from the Red Faction that Dongfang Xuanxiao had warned them against. They had entered the mountain before Long Chen, and had been able to estimate Long Chen and Yin Mengyao’s position.
The moment they appeared, they exchanged glances and, without another word, charged towards Yin Mengyao!